Backtracking towards stock, how far should I go? - PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
LinkBack Thread Tools Display Modes
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 04:31 AM Thread Starter
PSN Newb
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 20
Backtracking towards stock, how far should I go?

Working on buying my first 6.0 after a disappointing string of 7.3s. After looking at a dozen trucks I believe that I've found one that is workable and will be picking it up later this week. Paid more than I wanted to, but finding something without rust has proved... difficult, and I get fancy cowhide seats so that makes it worth the 15k, or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

Truck is a 2006 CCSB King Ranch. 159K miles. I'll throw the guy's list of motor work down here. Seller gave me no reason to disbelieve anything he said and I know enough about diesel motors to be able to verify most of it. He had receipts for everything, down to treating the leather seats when he bought it 19K miles and 2 years ago.

1. 205 warren injectors
2. Sct x4 tuner with custom tunes
3. 4” turbo back mbrp exhaust
4. Cold and hot side piping
5. Rudy’s diesel CAI
6. Sinister coolant filter system
7. EGR delete
8. Law dog high output alternator
9. Trans has been replaced
10. FICM replaced.
11. All seals and headgaskets replaced by Ford. They apparently wouldn't warranty work with aftermarket parts (studs)

He was going in a different direction than I want to go. He was looking for a daily driver that doubled as a show truck. Most of the stuff he did was leaning towards performance, now he has a kid and wants something newer and closer to stock. Or at least that's the story.

I want to focus on reliability and towing capacity, with a minor emphasis on fuel economy. It will be driven up to 1000 miles a week, and will tow 8000 pounds on a fairly regular basis. Here's my thoughts on what I should do, but since I'm new to the 6.0 I definitely want suggestions. Just remember what my goals are. My plan is to drive it on the street tune it currently has for a couple of weeks and keep monitoring for signs of HG failure or other issues and then do all of the work at once.

1. I know it needs turbo seals.
2. I also know it needs two glow plugs. Probably replace them all.
3. Replace all fluids and filters, don't think a coolant flush is necessary with the coolant filter.

Here's where I need advice:

4. Lose the 205 injectors in favor of stock or 155s. 205s on a stock turbo seems pointless and just drinks fuel. I'd love to get more air in there and keep the power, but again - reliability and fuel economy
5. Do head studs one at a time motor in. Since the gaskets are new-ish I think this is reasonable unless I see signs of failure.
6. Maybe rebuild oil cooler?
7. New tunes to reflect smaller injectors

I need you guys to help me fill in the blanks for point 8 and on. Thanks in advance for the advice, and hopefully this won't be a repeat of the "5 engine pull" 7.3 that I named Paine.
redlineauto is offline  
Sponsored Links
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 03:51 PM
PSN Veteran
Weatherlite's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,344
Re: Backtracking towards stock, how far should I go?

First, let me touch on a couple of your listed points.

2- No need to replace em all, but a little piece of mind never hurt. If you can afford it, do all 8.
3- If it currently has red ELC in it, you're probably ok, but if it has anything else, you're going to want to do a full flush, probably a reverse flush as well, and then a fill with some quality EC-1 rated ELC coolant. Be careful, though to not use the nitrite free. It's still up for debate whether our engines need the nitrites, but no one has done a long term test to find out the effects.
4 - If you're going full reliability, I would go stock injectors bought from Ford. If you want a little more power, there are ways with the stock sticks. If you simply must have even more power, go with the 155s.
5- You said you hope this isn't going to be another "Paine" of the best things you can do in that regard is research as much as you can before you do anything. On that note, I don't recommend the one at a time method for the studs. If the previous owner was running a tune with 205s, there's a good possibility that you need head gaskets, or that you will very soon. Do the job right. Pull the heads, have em checked/flattened if needed, clean up/flatten the deck, install new HG with the studs. Yes, this can be done with the cab on with a little ingenuity and following in the steps of others who have done it before.
6-If you wind up doing a reverse flush, one step is to do hose direct to the coolant outlet of the oil cooler. You'll probably be able to tell based on the flow rate whether you need a new cooler or not. Mine had water coming out of the block at nearly the same flow rate as the hose. Another I did was clearly less. However, my pre-flush deltas (difference in temperature between the coolant and oil) was a good number...9 degrees I think. Their deltas were 19, which indicates a clogged oil cooler. The flush was an attempt to clear it out, but didn't work.
7- Agreed. If you go stock tune, you may want to consider the FICM tune from PHP. You can literally add 100 HP and about 125 lb/ft of torque with just that. If you do get a tune AND want the FICM tune, have a custom tune drawn up which takes that into consideration.

On another note, and only because you said you want reliability, you may want to eventually consider replacing that CAI. The stock filter has been proven to flow enough air for these engines even when they have some major HP their filtration capability is far superior to those K&N style filters.

Honestly, for the most part, if the previous owner did everything he said, and he took good care of it, then you're probably already heading down the right path. If it were my truck, and I had the money, I would replace the oil in both axles, flush the tranny fluid and upgrade to a 2008-up pan with filter (if you don't have a dealer with the heated flush machine, you can do a drain/fill three times, while running about 100 miles in-between, and that is supposed to be almost as good), check all suspension joints/u-joints and replace/lube. Everyone has a favorite oil or favorite additive, so just be sure it's quality stuff. Me, I like to use Archoil in the engine oil and in the axles. Things run nice and smooth; zero stiction that I can notice. Also, electrical is HUGE in this vehicle! A good electrical system can make or break your truck. Get those batteries tested, and if one of them is close to failing, replace them both....always replace both. If you can, replace them with AGM batteries. They discharge more amps and accept a charge quicker than standard, they don't corrode the terminals/cables. Another thing is gauges, or at least something to monitor engine vitals. Some use one of the engine tuners for its screen. Some use Torque-Pro on a small tablet. I opted for a gauge cluster to monitor my most important vitals, and use Torque for the rest. However, know that fuel pressure and EGT cannot be monitored through the computer. You have to install sensors for those, and, unless your monitor has inputs for those (some do), physical gauges for the readouts. Oh NEED something to read codes and check certain parameters should anything go wrong. A phone with Torque Pro and FORScan Lite, along with a ELM OBD-II adapter is generally sufficient for most.

Hmmm....trying to think of things off the top of my head. If you still have the plastic CAC tube going to your intake, replace it with a metal one. Stock boots on the CAC tubes? Upgrade to quality silicone....I like Riff Raff Diesel's. Pull the connector off your ICP sensor and inspect for oil. If you do have to replace your oil cooler, be sure to use Ford parts! I bought an aftermarket kit one time by accident (didn't read the listing closely enough), and it wasn't quite the same. It was firmer, less forgiving. I had no choice so I installed it anyway. It was leaking like a sieve within two months. Also, if you're in that far to replace your oil cooler, may as well, replace the HPOP cover gasket. Those are known to leak....the key is some black RTV along the rear cover. For some reason it tends to sit just a hair lower than the block, making it leak easier. And, of course, while you have the cover off, check to see if they replaced your STC fitting. If not, replace it now. Your HPOP is the good design, so hopefully that shouldn't need replacing any time soon. You didn't state if the previous owner replaced an other o-rings, such as the stand pipe and dummy plugs, so if you're not sure you may want to plan to do those eventually, along with the nipple cup and injector o-rings.

Really, there's not much else for bulletproofing. Do some searches on here and see what else others have done. For example, I replaced all of my battery cables and upgraded them to 2/0, plus, with my 250 amp alternator, I did what is called the Big 3....improves charging ability significantly over the stock wiring. Oh, the starter cable is still factory...for now. I've installed an oil bypass cooler, have a built-in battery charger so I can just plug it in similar to the block heater (numerous short distance trips just don't allow the batteries to get fully charged again, so the occasional charger session is necessary), and have rebuilt the braking system. There's a lot you can do, and it's only limited by your imagination and your wallet. Your wallet will probably give out before your imagination does. lol

Good luck and keep us informed!!

2004 Excursion 6.0
New HPOP/HPO system o-rings; Updated standpipes and dummy plugs
EGR delete; Rebuilt oil cooler; CCV collection mod
VR Black Diamond head gaskets and ARP studs
Oil and coolant bypass filters; Shell EC-1 coolant
Rebuilt turbo; 250 amp alt; 6000 watts of brain scrambling
One giant 240 pound English Mastiff riding shotgun!
Weatherlite is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-14-2019, 05:58 PM Thread Starter
PSN Newb
Join Date: Sep 2018
Posts: 20
Re: Backtracking towards stock, how far should I go?

Yeah, my wallet is going to be the limiting factor. If money wasn't an issue, I'd pull the heads and have them o-ringed and reinstall with studs. EOT and ECT delta is well within range right now, I'm just trying to decide what I should do while I'm under the hood for the first time.

I'm thinking that I'm going to roll with the stock TTY bolts until they give me a reason to do otherwise. With the heads having been done less than 20k miles ago, I'm hoping that the relatively light tunes the PO was running haven't blown the gaskets yet and I can get rid of the extra fuel and go back to a stock or very light tune and get some miles out of it. I like the trans pan idea, I'll look into the bigger pans.

I have torque pro and everything needed to monitor the motor, remnants of the 7.3s so I should be good to go there.

I guess my current plan of action is to leave the oil cooler be since it's within spec, replace the glow plugs and rebuild the turbo, lose the 205/100s in favor of stock sticks, and have it lightly tuned appropriately. Do all the fluids and filters, then start putting money into a rainy day fund for when the truck inevitably decides the head gaskets are no good, which will hopefully be a while since I have reason to believe that the heads are currently in decent shape and the 06's are supposedly less terrible on the gaskets.

Weatherlite, thanks a bunch for the help and suggestions.
redlineauto is offline  
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old 10-15-2019, 01:33 PM
PSN Veteran
Weatherlite's Avatar
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 1,344
Re: Backtracking towards stock, how far should I go?

A couple other things for ya....

For nearly everything you can, stick with actual Ford parts. In some cases, like oil filter, you can go with Racor because they make the filter for Ford. I have tried to go cheap before, and it has bitten me in the arse. Parts just don't fit right, fail quickly, give erroneous readings, etc. The main thing I'm thinking right now is about oil filter and oil filter cap. There are quite a few places which sold taller filters for "more filtering capacity", which, of course, came with a taller cap to accommodate the filter. A while down the road, new owner perhaps, and the filter gets changed with a Racor. The cap no longer touches the filter, so the bypass valve isn't closed, and now your oil drains right out instead of into the HPOP reservoir, so you wind up with a no start condition and can't figure out why. Actually just happened to someone on here....lots of diagnosing help from folks on here, lots of digging by him, and it was something super simple. So, yeah, go with Ford. lol

As for your heads, I would test the pressure in your cooling system. If you do a quick search you can find lots of instructions on here, but basically you install a Tee into the hose which goes from the degas bottle to the radiator, and run a line from that into the passenger compartment. On the end of the hose you have a pressure gauge which goes up to about 20. A little higher is ok, so long as you can still read from 16 and below easily. Start truck, get fully warm, pull over and carefully vent pressure from the degas bottle. Get in your truck and drive it while watching the gauge. If your gauge spikes when you accelerate hard, or goes up considerably when just normal accelerating, the head gaskets are toast. If the pressure does NOT spike like that, but does continue to rise, you probably have head gaskets which are in the beginning phases of failing. Wait for the pressure to stop rising, and repeat the pressure release from the degas bottle. It's possible the coolant was still expanding and the engine wasn't completely hot. If the pressure continues to rise after depressurizing a second time, then it's definitely the gaskets. The good news there is that you could, technically, continue driving with them like that for quite a number of miles. I don't remember who it was, but someone on here said he rigged up a gauge semi-permanently when his heads did that so he could constantly monitor them. He drove his truck for two more years before they finally got to the point that the pressure was spiking upon acceleration.

What kills head gaskets is excess pressure in the chamber pushing the head up a little with those crap TTY bolts. This usually came from steam being generated when the oil/EGR cooler failed. However, with these VGT turbos, the vanes can get stuck and produce too much boost. Max stock is 23-26 PSI. When I first bought my truck and was towing, I saw it go to 35...shortly after I needed to do a head job. Go figure. lol So, keeping an eye on the boost and making sure you don't get too much foot in it while towing can definitely help keep your gaskets alive. I know you're already planning a turbo rebuild, so that's good. Follow the cleaning instructions well. One thing I did, following the advice of a few different folks, was I used some high temp anti-seize on the face of the unison ring anywhere it touched something. I also used it on the vane pins. I haven't had a problem with them sticking since. I did take it apart about two years after to see what it looked like. It was a little dirty from old anti-seize, but it was still keeping things freely moving surprisingly. I just did a quick spray down with brake parts cleaner and re-coated with the anti-seize.

Perhaps, as a first step, you could do a good engine degrease/wash, and then give everything a thorough going-over, just to see where you stand as far as oil leaks go, possible fray points on wire harnesses, potential future problem areas (like a cracked connector), and so on....just to give you a good assessment of everything.

2004 Excursion 6.0
New HPOP/HPO system o-rings; Updated standpipes and dummy plugs
EGR delete; Rebuilt oil cooler; CCV collection mod
VR Black Diamond head gaskets and ARP studs
Oil and coolant bypass filters; Shell EC-1 coolant
Rebuilt turbo; 250 amp alt; 6000 watts of brain scrambling
One giant 240 pound English Mastiff riding shotgun!
Weatherlite is offline  

Quick Reply

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the PowerStrokeNation : Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:


Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page
Display Modes
Linear Mode Linear Mode

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome